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Ford Self-Driving Service by 2021?

April 16, 2018 0 Comments

According to Digital Trends, Ford is determined to meet its 2021 deadline for a self-driving car service in the U.S. – and not just a small test operation but a service launched and operated “at scale” with all the necessary components to ensure efficiency and profitability.

Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, told Financial Times that the company is currently running tests in Miami, giving itself time to hone the autonomous car tech while also developing a broader business model.

The Miami trial began in February and involves pizza delivery for Domino’s. Ford recently partnered with Postmates, a package delivery service, as well.

While Ford’s current efforts focus on item delivery rather than people, FT’s report suggests the automaker is developing a vehicle that can “carry people and cargo interchangeably.”

Ford is spending its time in Miami developing autonomous tech and learning which business models work best, as well as the most efficient way to keep the driverless cars maintained.

Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification, said that Ford is developing the first “autonomous vehicle operations terminal” to maintain and house the vehicles.

The site, located a few miles from downtown Miami, will include facilities to wash the vehicles and to carry out routine maintenance.

“Before thousands of self-driving vehicles can hit the streets, we have to be prepared to manage large, high-tech fleets efficiently,” Marakby said, “and the steps we’re taking in Miami represent a significant stride in that process.”

Due to recent accidents affecting the reputation of self-driving tech, Ford and others will need regulatory approval to launch businesses using autonomous vehicles.

Last year, to help develop its self-driving tech, Ford invested $1 billion in artificial intelligence company Argo A.I.

About the Author:

Dave Martinson is a broadcast journalist for DrivingSalesNews. He has a background as a TV News Reporter, Anchor and Producer. He has also worked in Digital Marketing and Human Resources. He received his bachelor’s degree in Communication from Brigham Young University – Idaho. He’s married and originally from the state of Washington. He’s a huge football fan and enjoys the outdoors.